Retailer fined in France for copying Madonna song

28th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 28, 2006 (AFP) - The Virgin music retailer in France has been fined EUR 600,000 for illegally downloading a Madonna song to resell it on its own pay-per-tune site.

PARIS, June 28, 2006 (AFP) - The Virgin music retailer in France has been fined EUR  600,000 for illegally downloading a Madonna song to resell it on its own pay-per-tune site.

A Paris industrial court imposed the penalty on the company's VirginMega.fr subsidiary after finding it ignored an exclusive contract between Warner Music France and France Telecom and its mobile unit Orange by copying Madonna's song ‘Hung Up’ and retailing itself in October last year.

France Telecom and Orange had bought sole rights to sell the song online for a week in France from Warner for EUR 500,000, according to the court's ruling given last Friday.

The verdict ordered VirginMega to pay EUR 100,000 to Warner, and EUR 250,000 each to France Telecom and Orange.

Warner Music France welcomed the result, saying it had succeeded in "having its rights and those of its artist respected.”

Virgin France, though, argued that the judgement "confirmed the need to do everything to help build a balanced market for legal downloads.”

It and another major French music retailer, FNAC, have criticised recent moves by recording companies to farm out top selling singles to Internet and mobile operators first under exclusive contracts.

Virgin France was bought from Britain's Virgin Group in 2001 by the French conglomerate Lagardere.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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